In Medieval times, Rosemary and Sage were strewn on the floors of hospitals to get rid of pests and probably to refresh the air with aromatic scents. In the days before insecticides and the use of essential oils for ants and other pests, hedges of different herbs surrounded vegetable gardens.
Simply planting marigolds and or garlic in and around your garden would keep many pests away.
Today, conscientious people do companion planting and make many of their own remedies for the household, for bug repellants, for cosmetics, etc.
Besides having knowledge of natural remedies, there are a few tips to be aware of. Be aware of the color of your clothes.
Light-colored clothes do not attract bugs to the same degree as bright colors. Also, leave the scents, perfumes, and hairspray at home. Find a non-scented deodorant to wear. Around your home use yellow light bulbs in outdoor places.
The following are remedies you can make yourself. Experiment with mixing them. Unlike drugs, more ingredients are better:
- Tea tree oil
- Rose Geranium
Bug repellant essential oils can be used. These include:
- Rose Geranium
- European Pennyroyal
- Neem oil
- Mexican vanilla diluted in water.
- Orange oil
- Cedar oil
- Get rid of any standing water near where you live, this is where mosquitoes breed.
- Wear light colored clothes.
- Plant Citronella in pots around your outdoor patios.
- Burn Citronella candles inside and outside.
- The herb Rosemary is one of the best bug repellants. Make oil using the leaves of the herb Rosemary blended in your favorite oil. The mosquitoes will hover but not bite and it smells good.
- Neem oil is another natural safe repellant but has a pretty strong odor.
- You can also try Pennyroyal, Thyme or Lavender.
Many of these can also be mixed for an additive effect. Some claim that splashing yourself with rubbing alcohol repels mosquitoes.
Natural garden insecticide:
1 Tbs. dishwashing soap and water in a spray bottle, or 12 finely chopped garlic cloves in 4 ounces mineral oil.
Let soak for 2 days, strain, add a few drops of dishwashing soap, ½ cup water and spray on your plants.
Be willing to experiment with these suggestions as sometimes there are other factors that might enhance or deter from the overall effect.
Companion planting is age-old and can be read about back to the middle ages. Some plants will benefit others and some won’t.
One reason for companion planting is to draw or attract beneficial insects like:
- Ground beetles
- Ladybug larva
- Lacewing larva
- Parasitoid wasps
- Hoover or robber flies
These bugs feed on aphids, caterpillars, grubs, and leafhoppers.
Many herbs are used as companion plants to deter pesky insects, Most commonly used are:
- Queen Anne’s lace
Some experimenting is usually required to learn which plants to pair as companions. One very important consideration is to plant diverse crops in the same location over time.